Civil Forfieture. WTF.

Necronic

Staff member
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#1
This article is an insane read. How can cops think that this is ok? Understand that this is talking about civil forfeiture, not criminal forfeiture. This means that you don't even have to be convicted of a crime for them to take your stuff. And the defenses coming from cops on this are crazy. Anyways, read for yourself

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/08/12/130812fa_fact_stillman
 
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#2
I agree this is reprehensible, but so is almost anything where the cost to fight it exceeds the cost to "settle" with the aggressor (see patent trolls). That it is the "government" makes it 1,000,000 times worse in this case.
 
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#3
Louisiana is likely the worst state for forfieture. I have a friend that is black, who buys and sells sports/concert tickets for a living. When ever he has to travel to buy tickets he gets stopped in LA multiple times coming and going. Luckily he is savvy enough not to get all that cash taken. A black man with $7,000 cash if very suspicious on Interstate 10.
 
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#5
Oh, is this the first time some of you have heard of this, @Necronic ?

Texas has made the headlines repeatedly for this issue, stealing large sums of cash, cars, etc. from "suspicious" people that happen to go through specific towns.
It is reprehensible and should be stopped, but until the civil forfeiture laws are reformed, just avoid going through Texas. Simple, right?

--Patrick
 
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#6
Louisiana is likely the worst state for forfieture. I have a friend that is black, who buys and sells sports/concert tickets for a living. When ever he has to travel to buy tickets he gets stopped in LA multiple times coming and going. Luckily he is savvy enough not to get all that cash taken. A black man with $7,000 cash if very suspicious on Interstate 10.
might make him look like a scalper.
 
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#7
Scalping is legal if you do it online. But it is difficult to get out of a traffic stop on a major highway with a large amount of cash.
 

Necronic

Staff member
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#8
Oh, is this the first time some of you have heard of this, @Necronic ?

Texas has made the headlines repeatedly for this issue, stealing large sums of cash, cars, etc. from "suspicious" people that happen to go through specific towns.
It is reprehensible and should be stopped, but until the civil forfeiture laws are reformed, just avoid going through Texas. Simple, right?

--Patrick
Honestly, I live in Texas and I have never heard of this. This could be because I am white and have enough money to fight it though.
 

Dave

Staff member
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#9
Yeah, this is an absolute bullshit process and is routinely derided by everyone save the law enforcement individuals who defend it. But you'll also notice nobody is doing anything about it other than yelling.

I think it'll take a Congressman or other politician having their money taken to get anything done.
 

Dave

Staff member
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#11
You have no option. If you say no they take it anyway.

Your best bet is to tell them no when they want to search your car in the first place.
 
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#12
So, what happens if they give you the option of forfieture, and you just say no?
They do everything they can to bury you in court, most likely using fabricated evidence and false testimony, and take your stuff anyway.
 
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#13
Your best bet is to tell them no when they want to search your car in the first place.
Always the best response.[DOUBLEPOST=1376502320,1376502286][/DOUBLEPOST]
They do everything they can to bury you in court, most likely using fabricated evidence and false testimony, and take your stuff anyway.
Channeling LeQuack there much?
 
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#14
You have no option. If you say no they take it anyway.

Your best bet is to tell them no when they want to search your car in the first place.
I always do this. On the rare occasion that I have to drive through Georgia, I -always- get stopped by highway patrol. I assume it's for my Florida plates. They always give the same song and dance, about how they need to search the car, and if I say no then they'll call out police dogs to find probable cause, or call for backup, or blah blah blah. I always say whatever they have to do, they're not searching my car, and then I'm on my way.
 
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#15
Channeling LeQuack there much?
I wasn't talking about the police in general, I was talking about the particular department mentioned in the story. But if you want to defend their glorious and noble mission to rob random people of their valuables, be my guest.
 
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#16
Honestly, I live in Texas and I have never heard of this. This could be because I am white and have enough money to fight it though.
I've heard of it through friends that travel through LA, and when the owner of the Pappas restaurant chain had several thousand dollars taken from him when driving through LA. That dang sure hit the news.
 
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#19
Huh, I always assumed that saying no to a search WAS probably cause.
As far as I know, no. They might tell you that (I don't think there's a law against cops lying to you as long as they aren't flat out misinforming you of your rights) but you still have the full right to refuse a search without a warrant. The times it's happened to me, I've heard all kinds of threats about how bad it will be and how much of my time it will take if I refuse a search, but none of them have ever come to pass. Once they realize I'm not saying yes, they're done with me.
 
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#20
Well, you will be better protected in the long-run. It may cost you an hour on the side of the road, waiting for a JP to pass out a warrant to search.
also if it is a dirty cop, by time they call into HQ to wake up a JP, other units will arrive. Even dirty cops have a hard time harassing you if there are other cops there.
 
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#26
I wonder if a minimum would help. No civil seizure for amounts totaling less than $200,000. Honestly if a criminal enterprise isn't generating hundreds of thousands of dollars, it's not worth much law enforcement time, and those people with that much in assets would likely have at least the knowledge and ability to fight back.

Seizure of smaller amounts could still occur, but only through criminal court proceedings, not civil, and the burden of proof would be on the police that the smaller seizures are valid.
That wouldn't have stopped them from going after the Motel Caswell. The government tried to seize the motel because a limited number of drug arrests had been made there over the last 15 years. There was never any connection to the business itself and the owner had taken steps to work with the police to keep crime in the area down. Fortunately, a judge put a stop to the seizure, but only after a 4 year legal battle. (via BBJ)
 
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#27
Now I know how @Thread Necromancer must feel.

This (admittedly inflammatory) video has been making the rounds lately.
I know there's that whole "State Sovereignty" thing, but it seems like this is the sort of thing that would get automatically caught and swatted rather than needing a hue and cry to get noticed. I mean, when someone suddenly shows up to work with a lot of new, expensive things, questions get asked. If a city/county/whatever suddenly starts throwing around a lot of cash, you'd think it would raise the eyebrows of people further up the chain.

--Patrick
 
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#30
Bottom end of the article where police used a city ordinance that declared public displays of homosexuality to be a nuisance allowing officer's to seize the property of men who looked at them funny.
 
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#31
Huh. I learn more and more about my fellow forumites every day.

I can't recall the last time I've told someone that I'd drop the charges on them if they signed over their cash and belongings.

BECAUSE IT DOESN'T FUCKING HAPPEN WITH ME.

This might, MIGHT be some DA-level shit, but I have not heard of anything of it's like happening around me. Now, admittedly, I am not the most OBSERVANT individual out there (cue some astute Halforumer producing a half-dozen example of civil forfeiture following police activity in Chatham County, GA).

I'm not going to sit here and say it doesn't happen, because obviously it does. But I dare any one of you to point your fingers at me and suggest that I would impugn my honor with something like that.
 
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#32
Huh. I learn more and more about my fellow forumites every day.

I can't recall the last time I've told someone that I'd drop the charges on them if they signed over their cash and belongings.

BECAUSE IT DOESN'T FUCKING HAPPEN WITH ME.

This might, MIGHT be some DA-level shit, but I have not heard of anything of it's like happening around me. Now, admittedly, I am not the most OBSERVANT individual out there (cue some astute Halforumer producing a half-dozen example of civil forfeiture following police activity in Chatham County, GA).

I'm not going to sit here and say it doesn't happen, because obviously it does. But I dare any one of you to point your fingers at me and suggest that I would impugn my honor with something like that.
I don't think anyone would. I can't speak for Necronic, but I assume he only posted your name because he was curious what your take on it was. Also, this thread is a year old.
 
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#35
Heh, I think these threads might be a little too personal for you man. You're raising to bait you normally wouldn't.
Well, it's impossible for him to take it otherwise when the title calls him out by name. Even Charlie hasn't done that.
 
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